fighting muskie wrote:
I don't read too much into the Big Ten adding Johns Hopkins for one sport. They needed one more member to sponsor the sport and no one was ready or willing so they grabbed an academic peer with an excellent lacrosse program that happened to be on the east coast near the newbies. Hopkins is there to raise the profile of the league until some of the traditional schools can get rolling. Michigan for instance just started awarding scholarships. I'd expect the Big Ten to pressure some schools into adding lacrosse. Northwestern would fit the mold--private school, large affluent urban center--seems like a natural fit.
For the talk about how much money the Big Ten and its members earn, it troubles me when only Michigan can really spot the funds to sponsor a new program. When other programs say these things aren't viable, or they demand boosters to come up with the start-up and some of the early budget coverings, is Big Ten revenue overstated? Or are Big Ten schools really inefficient with their management?
Johns Hopkins, to some extent, could be anyone. The issue, to me, was the need for an affiliate at that moment and not having a program even close to being ready for an upgrade conversation. It showed a sense of panic and urgency on the part of the Big Ten to get lacrosse out there for its network, and had to essentially borrow a ringer to put it over. To need to centralize the lacrosse and ice hockey programs under the conference banner so urgently...why was it so important to form a lacrosse conference now without the minimum number of full members sponsoring the sport? A lack of faith a program would ever upgrade? A lack of faith in lacrosse moving the needle in media deal negotiations (a future bargaining chip)?
I mean, JHU has certainly made itself somewhat awkward to the group, publicly saying it did seek other conferences (you just know these guys wanted to be in the ACC), and still won't indulge the CIC invite. Adding a school who really couldn't care either way about this conference that takes itself way too seriously...it pokes holes in that inflated image the conference has of itself.
The money and the CIC...when all you can get from that are Rutgers, a Maryland you have to basically fully subsidize, and a slightly ungrateful Hopkins, who probably thinks the CIC is a joke...maybe the Big Ten isn't all what we project it being?